Worst Company Name Ever

Good company names can be hard to find, but terrible names should be easy to avoid. I wish I was at the meeting when they came up with this one.

so unique we're uneek
Can you use it in a sentence? Could I have the language of origin?

There are so many things here that I disagree with. With spelling and layout alone:

  • The first letter is not capitalized
  • They’ve taken out a space and crammed two words together
  • The second word is capitalized when the first isn’t
  • There are on-purpose misspellings everywhere; “ee” instead of “i”, “k” instead of “que”, “f” instead of “ph”, and “x” instead of “ics”

The meaning is just as bad as the layout and spelling. Calling yourself unique doesn’t make it true. Nor does applying any of the cliches above (actually, 4 misspellings might be original).  Nothing in the name links to a memory or feeling you might have. It doesn’t create a new space in your mind. There’s nothing memorable about it except for how bad it is.

And they’re using the ® symbol? I seriously doubt they paid to register this mark. Look out uniquegraphics.com.

Surf’s Up: The Branding of Google Wave vs. Microsoft Bing

Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world.

Last Thursday, tech giants Microsoft and Google each had a big announcement. The former officially announced its new search engine Bing, an announcement that the tech world knew was coming, as its latest attempt to reverse the tide of Google’s search dominance. The latter surprised its audience of developers with a deluge of information in its preview of Google Wave, an amalgam of email, IM, wiki/document editing, photo sharing, etc., all done in real-time, that according to its creators “is what email would look like if it were invented today.”

Google’s tsunami of an announcement drowned out Microsoft’s news for the day and as the swell grows its easy to forecast that the storm isn’t over. As developers join the flow and create their own applications, we will all feel the ripples for a long time. Never content to ride out a current success, Google seems ever capable of looking over the current crest for the next opportunity to catch more momentum. Bing’s release though, instead of being the watershed moment hoped for by Microsoft, may only turn out to be a drop in the bucket.

Ok, enough of that. In case you missed the point, I crammed a boat load (another one!) of metaphor into the preceding paragraphs to illustrate the branding effectiveness of Google Wave, which I think is a great name, especially when compared to Bing. A great name attaches itself like a barnacle (again!) to thoughts and feelings you already have thus making it more memorable. Wave does this fluidly (I can’t stop). Bing does not.

Take note of how a product is launched and you’ll see how confident a company is in it’s branding. Google Wave is introduced and the developers are wearing some cheap tshirts; Bing is annouced with an $80 million advertising budget. A good name “has legs.” It’s easy to talk about. A bad name has an advertising plan while a good name IS the advertising plan.

Branding aside, both products look nice. I did a few searches on Bing and the results look fine. But I’m so tied into Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, etc. that I don’t think I’ll be spending much more time getting used to it. I also watched the video of the Wave presentation, and it looks like another home run for Google.